Fall 2021 - WL 330 D100
Special Topic in World Literature (4)
Class Number: 7138
Delivery Method: In Person
Seminar on a topic in World Literature. This course may be repeated for credit when different topics are offered.
Adapting World Literature for the Screen
Screenwriting is both an art and a science. The novel, as a form, is generous. It has the ability, perhaps even the desire, to absorb anything and everything: from poetry to personal essay and memoir, even art and photography. The novel’s generosity – and gullibility – are infinite. But film is less forgiving. It is, to put it bluntly, an unforgiving form. It does not allow one to ponder, meander – go off course – for even a minute. The exploration of the human condition (the art of screenwriting) is still at the core of all great movies, but this exploration is presented through a precise structure (the science of screenwriting).
In this course, we will focus on adapting a novel from World Literature for the screen. How do we take a generous form and translate it into a most exacting one? Through technique. We will study Aristotelian three-act structure, look at the anatomy of a scene, focus on a character’s goals, the conflict that ensues, and the theme that emerges as a result. Through a combination of lectures, workshopping and writing exercises, we shall learn how to enable compelling characters make that deadly and dangerous jump from the page to the screen – and still keep them gloriously alive in the process.
- Structure 20%
- Writing Exercises 5%
- Original Scene 15%
- Written Feedback 10%
- Participation & Attendance 15%
- Original Script (Act One) 35%
The Bitch, by Quintana, Pilar; August 4, 2020 (this is the novel for adaptation in the course)
Additional Readings/Viewings assigned by Instructor
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TEACHING AT SFU IN FALL 2021
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